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What is Digital Art? Massimo Cremagnani, artist and researcher, investigates more than 15 years on the meaning and coherence of the more contemporary form of art, linking it to traditional styles and ...

What is Digital Art? Massimo Cremagnani, artist and researcher, investigates more than 15 years on the meaning and coherence of the more contemporary form of art, linking it to traditional styles and techniques and emphasizing the features that identify it. A unique text, which find and demonstrates through 10 dogmas freely interpreted the essence of a style too often misunderstood.
- ADVICE FOR TEACHERS - I would be pleased to know if you use this book in your classes. Thanks

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    Figurative Digital Art Enhanced Manifesto Figurative Digital Art Enhanced Manifesto Document Transcript

    • Massimo Cremagnani 2.2 Figurative Digital Art Enhanced Manifesto
    • 2
    • 4 Intro 6 Prequel 8 Digital Art Manifesto [MIRROR] 12 Revelation 14 Poster, Clue & Marginal Note 19 Figurative Digital Art Enhanced Manifesto 20 Premise - The Final Formula 24 On Art: The Power of the Virtual 28 On Art: The Uniqueness of the Reproducible 32 On Art: The Need of the Artistic Beauty 36 On Artist: The Practice of Alchemy 40 On Artist: Methaphysics of the Creative Course 44 On Artist: Everlastingness of the Research 48 On Around: The Taking of Contemporaneousness 52 On Around: Denial of Shallowness 56 On Around: The Refuse of Simulation 60 On My Word... 63 Biographical Notes
    • Chaos needs rules. Usually the artistic vanguards introduce themselves to the world by means of a more or less complicated clue, an identification document where, without frills, the spirit, the reasons, the attitude and the objectives to reach are described. This document is called “Manifesto”. The manifestism, if I can take the liberty of this definition, is an integral part of the vanguards as much as their artworks and spirit. It contains the whole communication inside in a direct way, more descriptive in comparison with figurative or poetic artworks (or, again, multimedial ones), saving the main ideals in their forms and intentions. A Manifesto is just like a plot that is drawn in a self-referential style, a general cue useful to those who play - actively or passively - an active part in the movement. But it is also an ideological key point to the initiators and the followers of the main research. Sometimes it may be a synthesis, very often it opens doors to deepening. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, author of the better known Futurism Manifesto, in a virtual drypoint portrait made in XXI century. By courtesy of the Author. 4
    • Drawing up a Manifesto becomes a necessity due to a rational insecurity and arises from a superiority self-criticism typical of aesthetics pioneers and free thinkers, among others. Having an innovative intuition is not so ordinary, and it is even more difficult to put it into practice. First you have to consider lots of doubts, variables and verifications. The experimentation extreme complexity needs an accurate, dynamic and continuous speculative analysis. So, sometimes, it is also necessary to put a standpoint to stop and think, a referral to limit to the bare minimum the possibility of vague interpretations and flights of fancy, both for authors (first) and for users (then). Drawing up a Manifesto is a very powerful and creative act. Its planning stage often allows greater deepening in comparison with the philosophic and creative rush of an artwork - as normally known. Even if lots of Manifesto appear as impulse drawing, full of kinetics and emotional energy, they are in fact the extreme expression of a rich background, of ideas that were formed and grounded behind the scenes of a long time before being focused. The Manifesto’s aggressiveness and arrogance are implicit in the revealing (it: “manifestarsi”), using a style that means: “Now I’m ready: listen to me!”. Its publishing promotes not only chasing fame and prestige, but also the possibility of comparison, feedback and, consequently, of evolution. Or rather, I believe that the last one is its primary target. buy this book at lulu.com 5
    • When a philosophy meets expressiveness, since a hundred years, a manifesto is born. The discovery of new creative tools, their evolution and their global diffusion spur artists in different moments and situations. This phenomenon of international importance involved (or still involves) several interpreters, several times dogmas of computer-related art have been expressed. It seems that, still in 1995, Lello Masucci published in Internet a Digital Art Manifesto, gaining international confirmations; but there isn’t trace any more, at least on the web, about this Manifesto. A digital manifesto was then promoted by Lorenzo Paolini in 1997, signed by many artists, as Larry Gartel and Mark Jenkins. The text, very simple and concise, confirmed with rhetorical feast the need of a human factor in the digital creation; but also this treaty seems to have fallen into oblivion. Other attempts have been made by J.D. Jarvis and Myriam Lozada, Demetrios Vakras, Gerald O’Connel (for Web Art), Kerry Mitchell (Fractal Art), Pelle Ehn (Digital Bauhaus) and so on. Lorenzo Paolini Terzo Millennio (Third Millennium), 1997 http://www.lorenzopaolini.it/manifesto.html 6
    • J.D. Jarvis e Myriam Lozada Carnival, nd http://www.dunkingbirdproductions.com I myself in 1998, unconscious of my forerunners, wrote a brief satirical lyric poetry, with the title “Digital Art Manifesto”. The chosen formula, characterized by a poetic structure and a nipping tone, wanted to provoke by means of irony the self-regard of digital artists, more or less would-be, of art dealers and curators, more or less expert, of collectors and observers, more or less conscientious. My first dissertation is published as full-length edition in the next pages, with a little marginal note. buy this book at lulu.com 7
    • You are badly accustomed. Very badly. You flatter yourself that the world is just what we show to you: on Tv; on magazines; on artworks. (mirror) And we’re so tired: tired to throw ourselves into formal researches, more and more sophisticated; tired to have to search something new and original; tired of being not appreciated for our efforts, unless in a superficial way. (mirror) In centuries we tried to open your eyes on the world and on yourselves, to make you look beyond; but you don’t mind, nowaday it is so obvious: you prefer easy answers to the questions we’d like you raise. (mirror) We are so tired that we too choosed for an easy answer: we devoted to digital. (mirror) Who cares if the definition is not the same as a photography. If ideas are the same old ones that you never mind, quite upgraded to your visual habits. If there is no more matter. If any gesture becomes mechanic. If we let a machine to do our work. Author’s Note: (mirror) The subtitle “mirror” and the unceasing I bet the most of you did not realize, and that the others don’t mind. repetition of this term inside the Manifesto emphasize the main need to “reflect” before So do us; the more so as we work in the immaterial, in the virtual. def ining something as an ar t work . We take refuge in a world that you can’t touch, because it doesn’t exist. Mirror means also a confrontation with ourselves, with our Artwork as a part of us (mirror) and with external points of view, as long as they’re consistent and studied for. You think to see us, on a screen or paper. Unfortunately history itself proved that But that is just an interpretation of our making, this allegory was too subtle to obtain the of our being in our virtual reality made for you that can’t (don’t want) understand. desired effect. 8
    • It’s beautiful: Computerarte? gia; un presente sociale e artistico in cui agire nel modo più attivo per proporre un futuro migliore e attinente alle Sognare su basi solide proprie idee. Insomma usavano l’espressione artistica Sebbene diversi tra loro per ispirazione e contenuti, (non solo figurativa, ma anche letteraria, musicale, ecce- questi tre movimenti avevano in comune la negazione tera) come strumento di stimolazione cerebrale verso un del didascalismo statico, ovvero la semplice rappresenta- mondo apparentemente addormentato. we don’t make efforts ever more to take our dreams and our sensations to our level: zione del mondo in cui viviamo. E, pur mantenendo una Oggi confondiamo invece questa stimolazione, l’abbia- chiave di lettura apparentemente accessibile a tutti, evi- mo resa passiva: lasciamo fin troppo spesso che lo stru- denziavano problematiche e simbologie molto più mento tecnologico sproni il nostro cervello, senza accor- profonde. Nonostante queste apparenti complicazioni, gerci di essere così manipolati e rinchiusi in una scatola però, tutti questi gruppi avevano una storia: un passato a ben più piccola dell’immaginario umano. Una scatola the computer does it. cui attingere e sulle cui basi fondare una propria ideolo- come la televisione, o il computer. Manifesto dell’arte digitale Lo specchio digitale Se la materia non c’è più. (SPECCHIO) We don’t find ever more a commonly acceptable style for our ideas: the compuer filters them. Se il gesto viene meccanizzato. Siete abituati male. Se lasciamo che un macchinario svolga il Sì, noi ci stiamo abituando bene. Molto male. nostro lavoro. Abbiamo trovato questo specchietto (SPECCHIO) per le allodole Vi illudete che il mondo e lo abbiamo trasformato sia semplicemente Scommetto che molti di voi nella nostra arma vincente: We won’t get dirty ever more with paints, or poison ourselves with solvents. quello che vi facciamo vedere: non se ne sono accorti, un artista digitale alla televisione; e che agli altri non importa. è sicuramente all’avanguardia, sulle riviste; Neanche a noi; è il nuovo pensiero, nelle opere d’arte. tanto ormai lavoriamo nell’immateriale, è il futuro; (SPECCHIO) nel virtuale. (SPECCHIO) And most of all, we are no more afraid to get wrong, we can do it anytime we want, with a computer. Ci siamo rifugiati in un mondo “quando tutto sarà informatizzato E noi siamo stanchi: che non potete toccare, (presto, molto presto, forse ieri), siamo stanchi di lanciarci perché non esiste. potremo godere appieno in ricerche formali (SPECCHIO) solo di opere virtuali, sempre più raffinate; meglio pensarci da adesso, stanchi di dover trovare sempre Voi credete di vederci, incominciare ad adeguarsi” . And you will never know. qualcosa di nuovo su di uno schermo o sulla carta. Peccato che alcuni artisti e di originale; Ma quella è solo un’interpretazione di quello operino attraverso il computer stanchi di non essere apprezzati che facciamo, da più di vent’anni, per i nostri sforzi, di quello che siamo senza che ve ne siate accorti. se non superficialmente. nella nostra realtà virtuale, (SPECCHIO) (SPECCHIO) fatta apposta per voi che non potete (volete) capire. Noi vi illudiamo di poter fare Per secoli abbiamo tentato (SPECCHIO) il nostro stesso lavoro, (mirror) di aprirvi gli occhi sul mondo con il vostro computer; e su voi stessi, noi vi illudiamo di farvi vedere più in là; È bello: che il vostro computer ma a voi questo non interessa più, non dobbiamo più sforzarci possa fare il nostro stesso lavoro. al giorno d’oggi è così evidente: di riportare i nostri sogni E per darvi una mano preferite facili risposte alle domande che o le nostre sensazioni (e avere più tempo libero) vorremmo vi poneste. al vostro livello: spesso lavoriamo superficialmente, (SPECCHIO) ci pensa il computer. al di sotto delle capacità nostre Non dobbiamo più trovare e della nostra attrezzatura; Yes, we are getting well accustomed. Siamo così stanchi una forma comunemente accettabile (SPECCHIO) che abbiamo scelto anche noi per le nostre idee: una risposta facile: le filtra il computer. consciamente non ve ne accorgete, ci siamo dati al digitale. Non ci dobbiamo più ma nel vostro intimo (SPECCHIO) sporcare di colore vi sentite più vicini all’arte, We found this bait and we changed it in our main weapon. o intossicare coi solventi. così vicini da voler provare voi stessi Cosa importa se la definizione E soprattutto, l’ebbrezza della creazione non è la stessa di una fotografia. non abbiamo più paura di sbagliare, andando così di fotocopia in fotocopia Se le idee sono quelle vecchie possiamo farlo fino al totale annullamento delle sfumature. a cui non avete mai badato, tutte le volte che vogliamo, leggermente aggiornate con il computer; A digital artist is undoubtedly in the vanguard, is the new minding, is the future. alle vostre consuetudini visive. voi non lo saprete mai. Massimo Cremagnani, 1998 28 marzo/aprile 1999 | Computer Graphics & Publishing (mirror) “When everything will be computerized (soon, very soon, maybe yesterday) Computerarte? di Massimo Cremagnani (prometeo@galactica.it) we will fully enjoy only virtual artworks, we should better mind it just by now, beginning to adapt us”. O ggi si sente spesso affermare che “è già stato detto tutto”, e dietro questa scusante si tra- scura l’importanza dell’originalità, mentre si ripropongono idee vecchie, adattate con una R ené Magritte, 1898 - 1967, bel- ga, visionario. Tutto il suo lavoro era René Magritte basato sugli sconvolgimenti dei rapporti relazionali: un oggetto e le sue proprietà fisiche, due situazioni unite assurdamente in un unico It’s a shame that some artists are working with computers since twenty years and more, sorta di restyling ai tempi e alle occasioni in cui verran- contesto, stravolgimenti e aberrazioni delle regole prospettiche. I suoi no presentate. dipinti ritraevano soggetti Premettendo che qualunque concetto o idea valida, ri- normalissimi in situazioni impossibili. E proprio que- sta sua dote di mescolatore without you noticed. concettuale istruisce e ispi- ra oggi fotomontatori e fo- tocollagisti digitali, il cui la- voro è enormemente facili- tato dalla sempre più vasta reperibilità d’immagini ori- ginali e dagli specifici software di montaggio. Molti ritengono la tecnica (mirror) pittorica di Magritte super- ficiale e infantile,ma fu pro- Fin troppo spesso gli artisti prio questa sua didascalità digitali non fanno i conti coi nella figurazione, questo suo illustrazionismo marca- loro predecessori. Ispirazione, to a sottolineare l’instabi- omaggio o semplicemente plagio? lità del reale rappresentato nelle sue opere.Certamente lavorare con immagini iperrealistiche,di qualità fotografica,comporta We deceive you of being able to do our work, with your computer; visitata in momenti diversi, produce impressioni diverse, sia nell’autore, sia nel fruitore; che un’evoluzione tecni- un differente approccio al risultante emotivo del lavoro finale. Forse ca e/o tecnologica porta inevitabilmente a riprendere per questo oggi è molto facile imbattersi in eccessivi effetti speciali, temi già trattati, sia come complemento alla precedente che con la loro appariscenza tendono a offuscare il significato simboli- co dell’idea. ricerca, sia per la necessità di avere un punto di riferi- mento nell’evoluzione espressiva; che alcune tematiche We deceive you of your computer is able to do our own work. e alcune simbologie sono così geneticamente radicate nella nostra cultura che non si può fare a meno di par- fittando della buona fede e dell’ignoranza degli spettato- larne… Premesso questo, capita sovente che sedicenti ri e varcando quella sottile linea che divide il citazioni- artisti cerchino deliberatamente di spacciare per proprie smo dal plagio. creature lavori visibilmente ispirati ad altri autori, appro- Questo fenomeno non è una novità, e non solo nel And giving you a hand (and having more free time), we often work superficially, Mi dipingo a mano o al computer? L a creazione della donna. Il potere dell’artista. Lo stesso concetto, per quanto simile nell’esposizione, se esaminato in periodi diversi porta a conclu- below our abilities and our instruments ones. sioni diverse. Una donna negli anni ’20 aveva bisogno di un uomo per essere completa (o completata),o almeno così voleva una società più maschilista e fal- locratica.L’artista (maschio,come furono quasi tutti gli artisti fino agli anni ’60) crea,contemporaneamente con devozione e distacco,la sua donna.Oggi,grazie all’emancipazione, alla rivoluzione sessuale e ai computer, una donna può be- nissimo dipingersi da sola, indipendente ma comunque sospettosa dell’uomo- artista che, non inquadrato, la ritrae da dietro l’obiettivo, subdolamente. Nel primo caso, la donna non è neanche più soggetto della composizione, ma (mirror) oggetto incompleto in attesa di essere definito, con lo sguardo nel vuoto, com- pletamente apatico; le manca la personalità, l’anima. Nel secondo lavoro, inve- ce, possiamo riconoscere chiaramente la determinazione della ragazza, i cui dettagli ancora mancanti sono irrilevanti per il proprio essere, tanto quanto la mancanza di biancheria. � René Magritte, “Il tentativo del- � Ernst Nusterer, “Titolo scono- l’impossibile”, 1928 sciuto”, anni ’90 You don’t realize it consciously, 26 marzo/aprile 1999 | Computer Graphics & Publishing but deep down in your conscience you feel yourselves closer to arts; The Manifesto was published inside so close that you need to try the flush of the creation an article about Surrealism’s clones, in the pages of “ComputerArte?” moving from a photocopy to another one (that I conceived and managed for straight to the total cancellation of the shades. two tears on the late magazine Computer Graphics & Publishing, IHT) 9
    • Each one of these Manifestos - mine above all - represented a justified but end in itself outburst. It did not go deeply into an historical or formal value, it didn’t declare an artistic or chronological identity and didn’t assume or investigate a multifaceted aesthetic that is in constant development. This word expression of a shared research was, in its rough, not enough incisive, detailed or explicit to inform, explain, or persuade. We Artists, too much concentrated on recent discoveries, should have also taken into account strong trouble factor: the computing invasion. This modern Pandora’s box contributed to make ineffective our purposes, deceiving, confusing and overwhelming us with non-art. The common thinking proliferation, expressed on the Web by everybody having a keyboard instead of culture, suicided the new experience through homogenization. The main symptom is that most of the artists I previously talked about as forerunners, researchers and innovators, nowadays have abandoned digital, or they introduce themselves as illustrators, photographers, advertisers, riding the wave of the didactic communication. Bert Monroy Come to Florida, 1997 http://www.bertmonroy.com 10
    • Thus, a clear deductive process took me to the following conflicting result: our vanguard turned out obsolete The concept of Manifesto, created and meaningful in times when only people really having something to say could be published - and read - is finished. Words have a different weight, suffocated by the white noise and by boor merchants shouting about the disputable talents of their improvisations. Nowadays the concept of Manifesto must be renewed with contemporary terms, and adapted to a world where regulations and certifications have more influence than concepts that need a deep thinking. Therefore I set out on a new formula, more disciplinary and pragmatic, trying to uphold the typical style of Arts: coherent and independent. The result is the Amplified Manifesto central character of this book. Now I’m introducing it to you. 11
    • The Manifesto was reborn in 2005 as a basis for a coherent and distinguishing code of conduct, a start point to get back to understand what (digital) Art is. Or better, what can not be it. Unlike the honorable predecessors, it becomes more an explanation than a definition, more an inquiry than a revelation, more a research than a result, remaining open to insights and extensions. The aggressiveness gives way to self-criticism without any imposition. I leave this attitude to politicians, ecclesiastics and marketing agents, with or without my own approval. In this up -to - date Manifesto, claims give way to facts and descriptions. The enterprising and dynamical spirit is implied in the recognition and in the consistent approval of a factual status, in order to become afterwards freely interpretable, subjectively interpretable and improvable. Just like an Artwork.. The important thing is Being on Display, honestly and competently, developing a really contemporary Art surrounded by skilled and challenging opponents, by stimulating enjoyable and unique artworks and, above all, by conscious estimators. Chaos needs rules, in order to breach them. 12
    • 13
    • The Figurative Digital Art Enhanced Manifesto is developed as a decalogue. Its introduction is a plenary statement defined Proposition (Assunto). It is followed by three subsets of topics: On Art (Dell’Arte), On Artist (Dell’Artista) and On Around (Dell’Intorno). Each topic has in turn three detailed items of deepening. Each item consists of a summary title and an explicit description. The first draft of the Enhanced Manifesto Amplificato consisted only in this essential and schematic decalogue. I began to spread it printing in different sizes: from the postcard to the poster. It seemed a good idea, but some difficulties arose... Quite a few people have accused the hermetic, stately and somewhat pedant language with whom I drafted the Manifesto. I admit, I was carried away by the enthusiasm, mixing typical terminologies of the more extreme aesthetics tretises, digital imaging’ neologisms and some archaisms. The aim was (and still is) to symbolically underline the cultural depth of the original idea, in order to prevent a flat and simplistic interpretation. Maybe I have a bit exaggerated, churning out a more tough than enlightening text, at least at the firs reading. In subsequent publications I added more extensions principally to broaden its understanding, especially when Luca Magnoni, at that time editor of the Computer Arts magazine, suggested me to publish the Manifesto only if I make it more accessible. 14
    • PreMise the finAl fOrMulA On Art the POwer Of the virtuAl the uniqueness Of the rePrOducible the need Of Artistic beAuty On Artist the PrActice Of AlcheMy MetAPhysics Of the creAtive cOurse everlAstingness Of the reseArch On ArOund the tAking Of cOnteMPOrAneOusness deniAl Of shAllOwness the refuse Of siMulAtiOn 15
    • So I wrote a commented version, in which each topic was completed with a wide explanation, theoretical examples and personal anecdotes. For a long time this was the common form of spread of the Manifesto: a real overly text poster with miles of introductory and explanatory notes: one for the Proposition, one for each subtopic plus a conclusive one, too. At the end the Computer Arts magazine published the Manifesto splitting in five episodes between april and august 2005. The main text was further enhanced with several deepenings about my own research and about the global historical artistic panorama. This book is the version 2.2, and at the moment is the ultimate compendium to the Manifesto. I decided to further split the structure, equipping each single subject of new contributes to a better understanding. I hope to have reached the proper balance between what I intended to say and a comprehensible translation in the human language*. Have a nice reading. * This sounds better in italian. Please forgive me for my english translation mistakes. 16
    • I often give a suggestion toghether with a copy of the Manifesto: hang it in the bathroom in front of the toilet. I think that a phrase at a time in the moment of highest concentration, privacy and freedom is the best way to understand its complexity. Otherwise, it may be useful as a stimulant. You can download the “poster” version of the Figurative Digital Art Enhanced Manifesto at capitolouno.com Manifesto section 17
    • and now... 18
    • Figurative Digital Art Enhanced Manifesto
    • it’s also a beginning As Figurative Digital Art, we mean those static, dynamic or interactive artworks which require digital tools for their realization, where other methods couldn’t carry a similar or equally effective aesthetic effect. 20
    • The first topic of the Manifesto is devoted to the definition of Figurative Digital Artwork. Giving a definition is absolutely necessary, because the legend that says that “with a computer everybody can be an artist” is unfortunately now deeply- rooted in the common belief, both popular and not. The dreamlike influence of the commercial offers, the spectacular nature of obsolete effects, the practicality of the virtual automation in place of experience, training and commitment are a temptation for all. And the World of Art is in pain for this, flooded by a semantic, semiotic, amateurish inaccuracy. The depiction’ elements - color, sign, perspective, detail, stroke, dimension and so on, but also subject, setting, symbology, illusion... - are mostly neglected. I’m talking about really knowing the productive and reproductive techniques before putting them into practice. About respecting the features of composition and exposure. About feeling the flavour of creation, a nowadays underestimated term, using it as a synonym of originality. About appreciating the technical evolution and the aesthetic discoveries as stimulus to reach innovation, and not cloning. The Artist’s choice in using digital devices for his own creations needs an affinity justification. But the results, the Artworks, must stand out from the conceptual and formal context of other techniques to gain a well-deserved identity. Digital printing, in details, is confused by many with “photocopying”, both for the mechanical affinity and for the common idea of reproducibility of the digital images. The honourable relationship takes a negative meaning just as a photocopy is seen as “copy of lower value than the original”. buy this book at lulu.com 21
    • The manipulation of lights, tones and sharpness allows to evidence the “beauty inside”, a vision generated by the technology but interpreted by the man. 22
    • Instead a printed Artwork really deserves all care and research to express the figurative idea, capturing the user’s perception at every perceptive level as well as a nice painting or a good photography. Without these tricks, we give reason to the view as just mentioned, playing down both our creative act and the technical-expressive value of digital techs and styles. Then, about the term “Figurative” I want point out that its meaning is not for excluding abstract images, but for engaging all the image-based expressive formulas. This detail is a little subterfuge to keep the premises of the Manifesto also open to other computer generated Arts, yet without examine their details: music, multimedia set-ups, programming poetry and so on. I don’t deal directly about these arguments because of my lack of experience, but I remain convinced about their potential value and about all analogies with the depiction as far as concern the respective evaluation and identification rules: originality, extreme enhancing possibilities, formal and aesthetic quality between the initial idea and the real practice. The last but fundamental criterion for an identification of Digital Art, concerns the need to use digital tools for the artwork’s realization. Unfortunately people often relies on a computer, owing to laziness in the timing of working, or worse, of processing. The random approach, applied to the computer, sooner or later will generate a peculiar, agreeable, apparently strong result. Just as the famous ten thousand monkeys with ten thousand typewriters. The computer, summarized in the process known as “copy-and- paste”, is often used to reshape ideas from the past, already produced with traditional techniques and tools but impoverished by the lack of pathos. The same pathos that characterized them in the creative stage and in the final appearance of the Artwork. At the opposite, the complicity between the human component and the instrument becomes a landmark for the stylistic and personal statement, where the author consciously elect the computer as a catalyst of his own expressive idea. For several reasons that will be analyzed in subsequent paragraphs. buy this book at lulu.com 23
    • that wears out the one that have not Inside the computer there is nothing, so you can do everything with it. 24
    • On Art: the following three paragraphs of Manifesto are devoted to the identity of the Figurative Digital Art, unfortunately often confused with inferior and amateurish expressive forms, or with a simple technique within everybody’s grasp. The concept of “virtual”, a term which has been improperly abused to define the simulation, is here reviewed as a link with the human imagination. The intangibility of thoughts is equal to that of any digital creation, and can be enjoyed only by the computer apparatus, at least for what concern the creative phase. Creating shapes, applying colors and editing features are just a change of bits, an intangible calculation in binary code which can be given a mask to wear behind the crystal of the screen. This constraint becomes for the Art a synonym of absolute freedom, at least throughout the planning of the Artwork. The artistic act can be mainly defined as image processing, with one link to the imagination and one other to the practical activity of creation. But I want to include in this analogy also the memory as collection and management of visual formulas and figurative elements, the reasoning on which intertwine the data assimilated looking for a new interpretation key, and the meditation as an abstraction from the material constraints of traditional techniques. Acting in virtual is, in essence, a mediation of the mental process. The ultimate materialization, which in other expressive techniques such as painting or sculpture is the dominant element, can be excluded here, or at least downgraded in favor of the creative independence. At this first stage of gestation of the work (the second one, if we consider a previous inspiration) we can avoid worrying about obvious feasibility and the materialization of the figurative concept (although, as we shall see, at some point the matter will have its importance). buy this book at lulu.com 25
    • The fusion of a natural texture, such as leather, and an abstract one, 26 although realized by a machine can maintain spontaneity and grace.
    • The virtual can circumvent the physical limitations both in the depiction than in the economic and practical implementation. Certainly we can be influenced by other factors: the runtime, the technology resources or the good command of the tools. However, these are temporary problems with a clear solution, which can not absolutely prevent the development of the creative process. The metaphysical abstraction of the digital operation, its non-existence on the material level is therefore to be regarded as a huge advantage (along with others that we will see below) for the free expression, of which becomes a pragmatic representative. The next step, namely the tangible presentation of the work, is linked with greater affinity to the more usual exhibition and communication problems, dividing itself between the traditional methods (materialization) and those inherently innovative, which are linked to the technological essence of the digital way: screen reproduction, cross-media diffusion, interactivity, multimedia and so on. buy this book at lulu.com 27
    • distinguish to be distinguished Figurative Digital Art leverages the power of reproducibility with at spread purposes, provided these reproductions follow slavishly the quality criteria of the unique artwork. 28
    • Let us now a topic on which have developed different schools of thought. The reproducibility, often demonized more for economic than aesthetic, is here accepted as a positive value and a distinctive feature of digital art. Reproducibility is an intrinsic element of the work of circulation, as already happens for centuries for all the techniques of engraving and photography. We can, at best, make a distinguish between aesthetic choices and the commercial ones, or rather between the use of a particular technique which is specifically suited for the artist and / or for an individual art project, or else opt for a wider dissemination of the work so that it can be sold at a price lower than that of the individual work, with all the benefits that the mass-marketing teaches us. In this latter case, we may also include the cases of reproduction regraded as “clones” of pictorial works (lithographs, serigraphs, posters), mere sale operation with dubious artistic value, although valuable in terms of popular. Our case is certainly closer to the first option, linked to the awareness of the Artist: we’re talking about reproducibility as an inseparable element of the digital Artwork, an extreme reproducibility, if we consider the invulnerability of the original compared with, for example, a zinc plate. The digital Artwork can be reproduced endlessly, always the same, provided that production tools (and media) will be maintained. This, fortunately for us, does not happen, leaving us the pleasant sense of continual evolution (which in technical terms is brutally and wrongly defined upgrade). Technological evolution reviews every aspect in the very short term, changing not only the reproduction systems but also the manner in which the reproductions themselves are perceived by the public. buy this book at lulu.com 29
    • The overlapping of graphics and painting elements in a single image can conceptually symbolize the fusion between man and technology. 30
    • An expressive formula, a concept of formal quality, a style, a common level can go from perfect to obsolete within a very short time, again because of the easy dissemination, which is legal or illegal. We can therefore imagine how a perpetual reproduction could lose its meaning, and then requires a careful choice of evolution or communication by the Artist. A skilful use of reproducibility, understood as an active intervention by the Artist, adds value and identity to the work, as much as a superficial act can diminish its essence. Approving the diffusion of Digital Artworks means to see it emerge from the sea of pseudo-artistic production that fills us in any environment. Thanks to the digital servo drives, we are approaching the maximum expressiveness indifference and, now more than ever, the Artist must stand out in the confused ocean of images and communication. Once, the art engraving was also known as original print, as to underline that every other publication was not in direct relation with the primary idea of the Author. Today, this certification is given by brands or contracts whose value is often impersonal, technical, nitpicking. Digital Artist, more than any other artist, must pick up the reins of his creatures caring, after their birth, also their growth and developments: the printed and virtual presentation, the spread, the direct feedback or which can be perceived from a comparison with the worlds of Art, of Imaging or Culture in general. The good thing is that, regardless of the most extensive individual research made by the most conscientious Artists, many of the notional and practical tools used to implement the above are widely available, often free of charge, in the most contemporary and mishandled formula of communication: the Web. buy this book at lulu.com 31
    • never too much to be true Figurative Digital Art represents the present evolution of all the Fine Arts, by linking to the idea of aesthetic beauty as extreme interpretation of the concepts and the indispensable nexus with the ideal. 32
    • As an incentive to the historical identity of Digital Art, is here emphasized the responsibility in the accuracy of the message and the aesthetic value of a good realization. The concept of beauty is expanded from the stylistic research to the iconographic culture, so that the visual elements can be reinterpreted but not repeated. The visual symbolism always revolves around to the same visual elements (shape, light, color, contrast ...) and to a wide range of symbols, whose impact changes, however, in relation to the historical moment and context. This involves a contemporarity analysis in the canons of interpretation, in order to identify the most effective expressive values of human history and emphasize them with compositions or styles that are appropriate to the perception of the moment. With the invention of photography, painters began to study the light differently, as unusual, scientific or anomalous. With the spread of the means of transport, was born the cult of speed and dynamism. With the advent of cinema, it began to represent the fourth dimension (plus others). So, what can give the computer to the figuration? Continuously, new lines of expression are arising. But we must take account of their origin to make them an evolution. Arise new interpretations of historical arguments, viewed and presented in different points of view. Arise new stylistic and technical yardsticks, but often the flamboyance is superficially considered rather than refinement, than construct or a formal investigation, compromising most of the time the value of the message. Someone whose name I will not say (but we all know him), a hundred years ago began to arouse the world of Art, dethroning the aesthetic value of the Artwork and substituting to it the concept, the expressive idea. buy this book at lulu.com 33
    • The artificial graphic elements of digital interpretation can be, 34 more or less involuntarily, resume hidden natural elements.
    • It was an artistic action more than legitimate, if it wasn’t been (and still it is) misunderstood, repeated until exhaustion and exploited by cowards who don’t know what aesthetics is, or aren’t able to paint it. Objectively awful works (and without communication skills for the most) have been criticized and ridiculed within famous museums and at the most famous artistic events. It’s not a matter of taste, everyone has the right to hold on its own ones. We’re talking about badly made paintings, about the absolute misconception of colors and media, of anatomy and perspective. We speak about Platonic solids passed off as sculptures, architectures, objects. We talk about things that only seem gimmicks to hide the physical and mental laziness, the lack of inspiration and / or delivery capacity. Quite as one of the principal accusation made against the computer users... Getting back to the previous points of the Manifesto, and anticipating the following, we know it’s not so, the computer is not just a crutch. So let us not be called lame unnecessarily. We know that this cool device, this domestic appliance who lives of porn and of remote pseudo-contacts can give a lot, to us and to those who enjoy our work. The Beauty is inside the computer, in graphics innovation and in the logic processes which operates and calls for expressions both in the evolution of new formulas as well as older ones. The archetypal value of beauty is an inviting link between the purity of inspiration and the realization itself, but also between those who create the Artwork and the viewer. A good stretch is a universal value, as well as a beautiful color, a beautiful subject, a beautiful composition. More deeply, we will appreciate a good use of the instrument, an emotive dynamism or a perception recall. It is a matter of respect for the idea and for the viewer, whose emotions are stimulated and not attacked. buy this book at lulu.com 35
    • back to a forgotten Art The Digital Artist is like a catalyst between culture and short-sightedness, between past and present, between instinct and pragmatism, to connect the autocratic impact of the technologies into the human imaginery. 36
    • The Artist is a unique figure in the social landscape, a “different” one who feels the need to express his own interpretation of things. What often escapes is the responsibility of this behavior, both to Art and to his audience. The Artist influences what surrounds him with exasperation, criticizing and idealizing it, anticipating future developments or entropy. The Artist who chooses digital tools implicitly assumes the task of unveiling a new face of computing, maid and mistress in the last decades of every lifestyle. Addressing it directly, merging himself with it in a unique way of expression, the artist simultaneously embodies both the role of mediator and explorer. Research may lead to innovative depictions, visual experiences that develop during the creation with the complicity of the instrument. This experience, the memory of the creative act, is a key component of the final Artwork that in the final Artwork must emerge. Transmitting the energy of gestation, the artist may suggest symbolically the constructive value of the digital medium, performing the hidden high potential of it. The symbolic reference of a Digital Artist just begins with being digital, acting on tools apparently within everybody’s grasp but using them beyond the standard and with full knowledge of the facts. The artist is the rally driver in front of the clerk with his runabout: he is embarked on a short-lived competition with himself, flanked by an accomplice technology, inspired by the path itself rather than the achievement of the goal. Its role is not directly practical, but it is an inspiring reflective. Showing these differences has always been part of the Art game, but to work, the language used should show a visible link with the viewer, enriched by the righteous virtuosities. buy this book at lulu.com 37
    • A geometric deformity of the digital process, if appropriately manipulated, 38 can create a greater sense of alienation, and then symbolism too.
    • And the viewer has his own genetic memory, full of techniques, styles and symbols. In order not to miss this opportunity to communicate to the unconscious, but nor loosing that same legacy of experience while we create, we have to try to remember the value celebrating it with the privilege of evolution. Most of the software is (or was born to be) an emulation of something real: Word is a typewriter. Photoshop a photo lab. Many kinds of printers imitate traditional printing systems, sometimes also in appearance. We print a photo or a picture to hanging it in a frame. But what’s different between an Olivetti M1 and a word processor? Between a shadow added with the mouse and one created with masks in the darkroom? Between silkscreen ink and laser printers’ toner? All are tools. All interact with us giving life to our vision. They are all accomplices in the creation, and they will remain embedded in the work. This track, this energy, positive or negative, is clear to anyone who knows how to search it. But sometimes it is also good exaggerate a bit, and put with pride under the spotlight main salient features of the digital age: a new style. buy this book at lulu.com 39
    • beyond the fourth dimension The creative method, underlying of the Figurative Digital Art, involves in a unique and innovative way, not linear mental processes on the artist’s side, who are evident in the continuous evolutions and re-interpretations of the used symbolism. 40
    • In order to creatively synchronize himself with the digital tool, which is abstract than the traditional ones, the Digital Artist takes on a new creative method in which the constructive rules are changed and, in some cases, expanded. Where an artist imagines, sketches, progressively paints from the background to the more delicate details, the Digital Artist can approach an idea from many perspectives simultaneously, and can indiscriminately act on composition, details, depiction and colors. He can create alternative versions of the same artwork through parallel developments and immediate variants. He can retrace his steps and optimize indefinitely, without necessarily starting from scratch . He can advance some details which are normally relegated to the final stages of the creative action and, conversely, can return the initial ones at finished work. These operations allow to significantly increase the research compositional, infinitely enlarging its range. The exploration continues, the aim adjustment allows a more rapid expressive growth for the author, which is now in a position to compare the variables of the own inspiration in near real time. First with the computer and then with Internet, chaos and order have assumed a new identity: everything is available at your fingertips: images, information, contacts, comparisons. How much this may affect the inspiration of an artist , his creative thinking? The cultural background and the availability of tools can grow so quickly that idea many times do change during its materialization, constantly contradict it and reinventing it. buy this book at lulu.com 41
    • The pixel, as primary element of the digital image, can grow up to become a figurative element and composition, as a macroscopic reference to some traditional techniques. 42
    • The conviction about finishing an Artwork can also evaporate, bringing the artist to a junction: or define a concept or an impeccable style, or explore the countless facets of a single protagonist, of a specific thought. In both cases, obviously, possibilities are higher than using traditional techniques, a characteristic that should lead to a particular prerogative of the Digital Artist. A so wide research’s attitude not entail the loss of the creative impulse or of the dynamism, of course , because these qualities, as in any other discipline, are a different phase of the creative act permitted by the mastery and familiarity with the instrument. The execution speed is achieved with a mental and physical workout, greatly encouraged by the constant evolution of these tools. Indeed, even in this case, creative times suffer a strong turbulence. Depending on the instruments, quick and dynamics actions may appear slow and tedious in their virtual version. Other more sophisticated processes that require precision and patience, can be safely delegated to the computational power of the processor and to its meticulousness. The artistic act remains, as it has always been, a cathartic gesture which combines the interpretation of reality with a deep introspective action . As Digital Artists, we will forever live the finished work in the knowledge of a further development, an evolutionary incomplete stage viewed in the eternal becoming as a stimulus to do more. buy this book at lulu.com 43
    • he who hesitates is lost The engagement and the passion of the Digital Artist include the research of new compositive formulas, stylistic’s and communication’s, linked to the technologic and expressive contemporaneousness, with the aim of a continuous research of the maximum interpretation of the ideal with these tools, using them beyond normalcy. 44
    • Assuming that the digital method provides a practical aid to a stylistic and emotional research, we must still remember that anything is possible within the virtual . The Metaphysics of inspiration may well expand in every direction, and only in part be retained by the “real” look of the artistic communication. This creative method acquires even more value if compared to the research of a contemporary depiction: how many shapes and styles are already ubiquitous (albeit with less boldness than in the past) due to the daily abuse of the digital instrument? This abuse is demeaning, as we said . Can we ignore it, pretending to be on another planet? Wrong. We can analyze the characteristics, circumvent them, and go further, since they already represent – in a their invaluable way - the reality. Digital tools, more than many other instruments and similar to every domestic appliance, require to be used by anyone. For this reason, they born with a mask defined interface, which allows us to do “things”. Behind this mask there is much more: behind the softwares, there are mathematical formulas, nature emulations, codes, laws, categories. Behind the hardware there are technology, physics, tangibility. Just doing some small step towards the inside, we can find the innovation. The secret. The lighting. Only to discover, soon after, as already boring and obsolete is. At least if we practice a bit of sincere self-criticism. So let’s take some other little step. We investigate, we experiment, we find. We interpret. There is a particular attitude, which I call “the genius of ignorance.” It’s a bit like the beginner’s luck, but more complex: from an absolutely basic knowledge arise unexpected intuitions, sums of irrationally located concepts that lead to a consistent result. buy this book at lulu.com 45
    • Virtual materials that compose the image can perceptually deceive the viewer, 46 still being implicitly anchored to a single draft.
    • Let me give an example: we don’t know the algorithm to change the color when we apply a filter to an image; but, following the instinct, we can obtain satisfactory results. However, the instinct is not always sufficient to reach the ideal, nor the fortune. We realize it as soon as we discover a secret, a mechanism neglected in the instruction booklet perhaps because it was not provided. The wide world of digital, with its mechanisms and its emulations, begins to match the reality for the number of possible variables. And isn’t this lighting? Rationalizing mysterious processes, drawing from the few points of real contact we have with digital, we can open up new knowledge, turning them into images and then showing them to the world, instead of photocopying it. buy this book at lulu.com 47
    • a possible mission The Figurative Digital Art has the task to reflect, improving it, the intrusive aesthetics of the computer method for communication. 48
    • With Around we mean what that surrounds the protagonists of the Art: the Artists and their Artworks. Around are profiteers and lovers, merchants and suppliers. But above all there are the spectators, a term perhaps inappropriate but that can easily be replaced with anyone. In the digital age, the dissemination of images and culture in general is accessible to everyone. While many, frankly, do not pay much attention to the Art as normally understood, they indirectly are still invested by it. The individual wealth of the Art is closely connected to entire human experience. Broadly speaking, we can say that originally takes inspiration from it and, once gained, it ends with influence it. The computer as object is the obvious joint between the Digital Art and the digital invasion found in every sector, professional and household, as a dominant feature of our era. The reflection of the art on the world is an element of great responsibility for the artist, which with his work shows the eclectic and informal aspects of this technology, affecting the globalizing appearance or, conceptually, leading to exasperation in protest. The most obvious analogy is targeted to graphic communication, who shares instruments and styles but, too often, is confined to didactic and direct messages. In this way it denies, in principle, a liberal interpretation to the viewer but also to its creator, an accomplice of a levelling of the media experience. Facing every day in every moment mediocre advertising images, unconsciously lowers the criterion of judging of the spectator, which is accustomed to a visual swirl, certainly more various than in the past but confused and repetitive. The taste goes limp, and all that is little more than mediocre stir emotion. buy this book at lulu.com 49
    • The union of dream shapes and Euclidean traits can increase the feeling of a 50 controlled chaos, giving the viewer a greater freedom of interpretation.
    • A very little emotion which, in the grayness, serves as a placebo, avoiding the effort to seek more. It is not like old times, when artistic events were the only diversion and were welcomed with enthusiasm, deeply breathed before being metabolized and, at best, though frequent, arousing emotions. Great emotions. Positive or negative, but great. At the Art was stolen the throne by the entertainment, which nevertheless uses the same tools. So I think the game (not a war) is still open because the two realities - Arts and entertainment - can also coexist, if not even form an alliance. buy this book at lulu.com 51
    • keep the control Digital Art entrusts the virtuosities of the human imaginative at the typical preciseness of the computer tool, where the symbiosis between the two factors leads quality of representation and uniqueness of style. 52
    • Around Digital Artist, there are also its tools. They were born to help the man to do things avoiding one of the unsolvable problems of nature: human error. Speed, memory, versatility of computer tools are elements that would be worth nothing without accuracy. Computers are very precise: in size, in colors (though sometimes they struggle to explain their to each other), for the time, for the forms. In some areas the accuracy is strongly required, as in architecture or medicine. In Art it is a choice, a chance to make something exactly like you want. If we have clear what we have in mind, we have the philosopher’s stone. But sometimes it is hard to let out the inspiration in a so linear way, so that communicate to the tools what to do. Precision, however, is also in the middle, helping us to identify those small dowels that from the first approach will lead us in the right direction. When I think of this painstaking research I can think of Zeno’s paradox, but I think it happens to many artists and then we can proceed. As already mentioned, the small dowels can be saved in all their integrity in a secured memory. They can be compared one with each other. They can be redirected infinite times, with much less effort than in the past. For deductive logic, this fractal evolution of the Art research method may give rise to infinite combinations, the most valuable of which may turn into style. Now, by style we mean the formula that characterizes a group of artists linked by a common quest, or else the expressive characteristics of a single individual. If there are so many possibilities to refine the research, it would be more correct to believe that every single Digital Artist has the potential to have his own style, original and unique. buy this book at lulu.com 53
    • The game bet ween regular and irregular can add depth to the image, 54 without being flatly attributed to the inspiration subject.
    • The similarity among the products of digital figuration can be caused by two main factors: imitation and superficiality. We’ll talk about imitation to the next point, but superficiality is exactly the opposite of the criterion of accuracy of which we spoke above. How can coexist an imprecise use of a precise tool? Simply, once again, for a human error. It’s the mistake of feeling satisfied, stopping at the first level, refusing to devote energy to split hairs. An hair which tickles and irritates even if we don’t know why, although if it is bearable; but it’s not good. It’s not fair to ourselves, because we deserve us to have the free rein to our imagination and not a double of it. It is incorrect even in respect of the spectators who, you know, always want more. So, where can we find this hair? Think for a moment to a digital image: it’s composed by pixels. Colored dots. Hundreds, thousands, billions of colored dots that we can repaint and move at will. All together, in groups or one at a time. This is precision. A vector image? Coordinates and mathematical formulas by potentially infinite decimals. The print? Microscopic droplets of color which are side by side, overlap one with each other, penetrate between the fibres of a support or lies down gently on another one. And so on. I think that chance of finding a unique style exists. buy this book at lulu.com 55
    • a consistent choice Even if the digital tools were born to simulate the classic tools and techniques, or the reality itself, we consider the Figurative Digital Artwork a work which, in the interpretation of the artist, escapes from the concept of simulation, emulation and copy, or the simple execution with computer tools of what can be expressed or realized with the conventional tools. 56
    • I promised, now we are talking about imitation. And we intend speaking bad of it. The imitation between Artists has always existed, and has also created some controversy and some history fakes. But the human component has always influenced the work, by creating those small differences that allow to distinguish apples from pears. Perhaps except in cubism, but I would not go off topic. Digital tools, just for the accuracy above mentioned, can greatly affect the final result, sprinkling with the anonymity a creative effort. It goes without saying that cloning is so much easier with computers, but also much more evident. If we add the opinion of the expert with the easy availability of images and information by any person, someone who copies, imitates, clones have a very high percentage of detected , and to make a bad impression. This is not a threat, at least not openly, but an objective observation. There is another interpretation of imitation, one that brings back the tools at their origins, their inner meaning: as virtual version of real instruments. Several times we saw how the computer can do better than men or other instruments, where “better” is understood as “different in a positive sense.” So there is no reason to stop at imitation. An image with watercolor effect is not a watercolor. And even if the difference is inidentificabile, there is no reason to not paint directly a watercolor with brushes and water colors. To think of it , not even a photocopy effect seems fair to me. buy this book at lulu.com 57
    • In the art interpretation, with the right balance, the natural element can be artificialized, and the synthetic one appears to be spontaneous. 58
    • Be a Digital Ar tist must be a precise choice, motivated by the complicit y with the tools. Any attempt to solve problems with traditional techniques, and I’m not just referring to a glaring inability but also because of space problems, movement, health or whatever, can have only a negative meaning. It’s like getting on a sports car and make brum brum with the engine off. The digital depiction is one of the few remaining new frontiers of expression , we can’t waste them, revisiting techniques and styles that we have already seen, studied, assimilated and digested. The originality of the Artwork would be affected by this, while the already confused concept of Digital Art would loose those little fragments of identity that begins to laboriously collect. And so I’m going to conclude by briefly summarizing the principles of the most contemporary Art there is. For the artist should be both a necessity and a pleasure embarking on a research in order to achieve a personal style, a language that combines the specificity of the figurative message to its technical enhancement, reaffirming the importance of symbolic detail in front of a blurred and hackneyed iconography. And although one of the great virtues of computer graphics, even because of its origins, is due to the power of simulation of techniques or real events, the true power of this art is to go further. Submitting visions and developments of innovative visuals satisfies not only the inspiration of the artist, but is also a universal stimulus for all those who enjoy the results of it. buy this book at lulu.com 59
    • To reach and realize the over mentioned statements we practice, request, encourage and promote the full mastery of tools and techniques we are speaking of, whether for the creative step than for the exhibition one. This mastery is necessary at technical quality level for the expressive goal of the idea of the artwork, for the safeguard and the exaltation of the stylistic originality and for the conservation of the human factor in the artwork itself and in its interpretation. Until being an individual will become a new standard. 60
    • It’s usual to conclude a poster with a sort of ‘oath’, an endorsement of the cited principles, which, in most historical circumstances, is countersigned by the members of the involved movement. However it is not my intention to bind the Artists and the estimators with a limited code, because the artistic evolution can not afford any brake. This epilogue is meant to be a small summary of the expressed intentions, recalling the simple coherency of a human and professional dignity, applied to the liability of the artistic expression. In a world where it is easy to fall into clichés, especially using tools which in the same clichés have their productive force, I want to celebrate the fundamental value of intellect and skill, maybe inducing the reader to empathize with a personal effort . I insist on the mastery of technique for a return to the aesthetic and formal pleasure, which find in the art its purest expression, but I hope also that it will extend to every aspect of daily life, subduing the common sense of easy acceptance. I insist on the human component relying on personal pride which for the Artists is often called egocentricity, as the focal point of a necessary diversification of thought. And then I conclude with an ambiguous aphorism, well aware that when it will happen we’ll have fun in starting with new ideologies. buy this book at lulu.com 61
    • Massimo Cremagnani lives and works in Milano, Italy. Lot of his research has been published on italian magazines: Computer Graphics & Publishing, Graph Creative, Fotocomputer, Graphicus, Computer Arts e Italia Grafica. His professional consulting include brands like Chanel, Natuzzi, Tetrapak e McDonald’s. At the present he is consultant in digital imaging and printing for arts and promotionals. 62
    • The Artistic research of Massimo Cremagnani, after years spent studying classical techniques of painting and visual arts, has long been investigating the consistency and features of digital expressiveness, in an attempt to give this a substantial expressive identity. Charmed by the inseparable concepts of human and technological evolution, the Artist plays with a sophisticated and extreme processing of random or selected images, providing the full potential - often considered improper - of computer systems, from input to completion, to exposure. Recognizing the ceaseless technological progress related to this Art form, he collects his experiences under the brand “capitolouno” (chapter-one), at least until he will consider this expression line at an early stage and study. The first significant step was made in 1998 with the realization of Homo Sapiens marsupialis - or “Nude with his Hands in his Pockets - in which, through a hyper-realistic editing and the study of meta-behaviour, he tries to understand whether Mother Nature can still keep up with the rhythms of human progress. The works, first proposed at the Palazzo della Permanente in Milan, are then required by the Art Gallery Kiosk in Brussels, for a group exhibition in which attended artists like Orlan and Dinos and Jake Chapman. buy this book at lulu.com 63
    • The visual impact of shapes and colors can be violent and explicit to a certain distance and size, and softly suffused with another. 64
    • Boredom imposed by a forced stereotyping and an unprepared and ineducational global communication, Cremagnani leads to ethical research of professionalism for the artist. Researches about the creative act overturning, about a deep knowledge of the (always) new instruments and about the evolution of perceptiveness are presented as complementary elements of a unique but constantly evolving style, and of a new aesthetic. The experiments about image scanning, about the sign given by the different processing algorithms and/or by printing or presentation tools, and about new colour systems are confirmed with many works of the DEE series, where mysterious female figures - always stars in the artist’s work - are distorted by a surrealist painting based on a digitally Flemish detailing, almost baroque. The framework is composed by different levels of perception, in which figuration, abstraction, colour and sense of composition cohabit with the viewer’s rhythm. Lately, the Artist’s energies are directed to the study of conceptual methods for the digital interpretation of human mind and body, and to the advanced capabilities of printing as a union between idea, form, printing technologies, inks, media and environment. Currently works as a consultant in theory and production of digital art, value-added graphic solutions and digital printing for communication. For more information: www.capitolouno.com buy this book at lulu.com 65
    • Figurative Digital Art Enhanced Manifesto - Version 2.2.1 english Version 1: Digital Art Manifesto, 1998 Version 2: Figurative Digital Art Enhanced Manifesto, 2005 2.1: Notes addition in main sections, 2005 2.2: More deepenings in every single chapter, 2008/2009 Many thanks to Laura for the translation “Figurative Digital Art Enhanced Manifesto” © Massimo Cremagnani 2004, 2005, 2009. Text shared with Creative Commons licence - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported. It is allowed to use and spread for informational or educational purposes. The commercial exploitation without the written consent of the author is strictly prohibited. More infos at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0 All reproduced works are © of respective authors, indicated in the captions. Unless specified, the author is Massimo Cremagnani. 66
    • you can read it in one hour, you can understand it in one era. Massimo Cremagnani, one century after the Futurist Manifesto